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December 13, 2013, Volume 13 Number 23

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Eleven more shopping days until Christmas! I have tried not to be too overly occupied with shopping days...for me, it's more like "shopping hours"! I usually wait until the last minute and then do a mini-shop-a-thon to pick out the gifts I want to send. Most of my shopping is for off-island family members and I'm always carting Flat Rate Boxes to the Post Office! I'm told it's much easier to send the grand kids an iTunes gift card. I guess I'm just old-fashioned and want to send something with a personal touch (even if it's just picking it off the shelf with my own hand!!)

This week's newsletter will be abridged as I've just returned from a short off-island visit to Houston to visit family and the jet-lag is slowing me down. We'll send a supplemental issue next week.

Ken, the Guam Food Guy

Restaurant Happenings

It was this time last year that we were anticipating some new restaurant openings. In mid-December, 2012, we were eagerly awaiting the opening of the Kracked Egg, Brown Bag Cafe Tumon, Beachin' Shrimp, Brix Pub N Pizza, and Frost Bite. Pika's Cafe had just re-opened and Menya Sanji Guam (Japanese Ramen) had just opened in Tumon. Now the landscape has changed a bit and there are new restaurants on the horizon. Papa's is a new locally-owned steak house that will probably be one of the first to open. The new Eggs N Things will also be looking open down in front of the Reef Hotel and Olive Spa. Agana's been holding its breath awaiting the opening of Tapanade in the Agana Shopping Center. Estimated time of completion is January 2014. Of course, there's a lot of anticipation for Applebee's opening next to Cost-U-Less and Chili's in Tamuning. It is possible they could be open as early as February. We'll see. We are pleased to welcome Panda Express to the Micronesia Mall. They will be opening two more locations, one in the GPO and the other in the Agana Shopping Center. The entire island is awaiting the opening of the Dusit Thani Guam Resort sometime the spring or summer. We'll see. Don't worry, there will be more restaurants coming on the scene.

Barefoot Beach Bar & BBQ
Kanoa Resort
Saipan Beach Road

Have you ever had one of those "deja vu" moments when you felt like you'd already been at a new place you are visiting for the first time? I had that happen recently in Saipan when I stopped by The Barefoot Beach Bar & BBQ at the Kanoa Resort Saipan, previously known as the Saipan Grand Hotel. Well, as I was sitting on the wooden deck sipping a cold one, I looked up and down the beach and felt that I had been transported back in time to the famous Sunset Bar & Grill at the Pacific Gardenia Hotel, affectionately known as Saipan's littlest big hotel! Although the grounds and physical structures around Barefoot Beach Bar are significantly different, they have captured the same laid back beach side ambiance that I adored back in the day at the Sunset Bar & Grill. They had live performances then and Barefoot has live performers here, although a bit more on the mellow side with dulcet vocal harmonizing on American and Japanese easy listening standards. The timeless impression is the ocean vista as the sun settles down. The sound of the waves gently lapping up against the shoreline, enticing you out for a foot dip or two!

One of the great things about the beach front hotels in Saipan is that they always capitalize on their scenic locations to create a special dining experience, and what tourists and locals like most is the barbecue! The Barefoot Beach Bar and BBQ is Saipan's newest beach front bbq. It is also one of the more affordable coming in at $32.00. This includes a salad bar. The Kanoa's chef team will grill up a platter that has prawns, mahi mahi filets, squid, succulent sirloin steak, marinated chicken, grilled frankfurter, corn on the cob, yaki onigiri (grilled rice cake), broccoli, and finadene along with a barbecue dipping sauce.

While dining, you can listen to the enchanting songs performed by a trio called Revive, with two ladies singing amazing renditions of mellow classics accompanied by a guitarist. This all happens beachside at the Kanoa Resort, which has an impressive stone carving of dancing dolphins in their lobby. When you visit Kanoa at night, look at the front of the hotel and you'll notice that the building's exterior lights change color, making the walls green, red, and purple. It magically creates a visual mood with light and color. Come to Saipan's Kanoa Resort and stop by the Barefoot Beach Bar & BBQ and find your deja vu moment!

Bon Appetit!

Ken The Guam Food Guy

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